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Community Property – California Estate Planning Laws — The Kate’s Vine

There was a recent story about a California man who was a high-level Silicon Valley executive. He met his sixth wife when he went to a bar where she worked as a waitress. They married. The honeymoon was short-lived. They battled for a while. The man passed away and left his $100 million to each […]

What Is the Community Property Law in California?

Written by Jane Meggitt; Updated June 20, 2018

Most couples entering wedlock in California know that it is a community property state, but may not know exactly how that affects them should they ever divorce. Basically, once a couple marries, or enters a domestic partnership, they are no longer two separate units but one legal entity. Community property is all property and all debts acquired during a marriage or partnership. There is an exception for inherited property and gifts.

 

Community Property

Property is virtually anything that can be sold or bought. Couples may think of community property in terms of real estate, bank accounts, retirement and pension plans, stocks and bonds and the like, but it also applies to cars, furniture and even clothing. When a couple divorce in California, the court decides how the marital property and marital debts are divided. It doesn’t matter if only one spouse incurred debt, as both of them are responsible for it. The mortgage on the family home is one such debt.

Separate Property

Property that a spouse acquired before a marriage is not part of community property. If one spouse had their own home prior to marriage, for example, and continued to own it and rent it out, not only is the dwelling not considered community property but neither is the rental income. Inheritances are always exempt from community property, and so is property purchased with inherited funds, as long as that is provable. Once a couple legally separates, their earned income becomes separate property, so that separation date is crucial.

Commingled Property

Some property becomes commingled during the course of the marriage, and legal help is generally needed to sort this out. For example, if a spouse had their own home before they married, but sold it and used the proceeds toward the martial home, that is separate property. If there’s a mortgage on the house, the resulting equity in the home is community property, and that means commingled equity. Pension plans are another tricky area, since one spouse may have contributed to the plan prior to marriage, making that separate property, but continued to contribute to the plan after marriage, making those contributions community property. Pension plan rules are quite detailed and an attorney may be necessary to ensure the property division meets all legal requirements.

Spousal Death

Community property discussions tend to focus on divorce, but the laws also come into play when one spouse dies. Assuming that the spouse left a will, he or she can only transfer half of the marital community property to other parties. The surviving spouse still owns the remaining half. If the spouse dies without a will, or intestate, that’s where problems can really arise. California laws of intestate succession, or who is entitled to the property of someone dying without a will, grants the late spouse’s property entirely to the surviving spouse only if there are no surviving children, grandchildren or other members of the immediate family such as parents. If there is one surviving child or other immediate family members, half of the late spouse’s property goes to the surviving spouse and half to the child. If there are multiple children or grandchildren, the spouse receives just one-third of the late spouse’s separate property, and the rest is divided among the children and grandchildren.

Opting Out

While community property is the law in California, there are ways for married couples to avoid it. For couples who have not yet wed, the answer is a prenuptial agreement, also known as a premarital agreement. Both parties must have their own attorneys to ensure fairness regarding the agreement. Those who are already married may enter into an antenuptial agreement, also known as a martial agreement. These agreements spell out what belongs to each member of the couple. Keep in mind that under California law, any type of pressure or duress in signing these agreements may invalidate them, so this is not a document put together the day before the wedding.

via Community Property – California Estate Planning Laws — The Kate’s Vine

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What to Do If the New Car You Bought Is a Lemon

When you purchase a new car, you would expect nothing less than for it to behave according with its specification. You would expect the engine to purr like a cat and all other systems to be fully operational and operate within specified parameters. Sadly, in many cases the reality contradicts the expectancy. Due to numerous reasons, from manufacturing to shipping problem, the car you have just bought may turn out to be just a burdening lemon. The next logical question is what to do if the new car you bought is a lemon. Should you attempt to solve your case on your own or hire a lawyer?

The first reaction which comes natural for most of the drivers in this situate is to take matters in their own hands and talk with the dealer. Unfortunately, this method is rarely successful. When hearing about lemon cars, lemon laws, refunds or changing cars, most of the dealers will try to prolong the process or totally avoid it, by asking for numerous call backs. Even worse, you can expect your pleas to reach deaf ears and end up with unread messages.

Even when the dealer seems to cooperate, things can reach a stalemate. Dealers may claim to investigate the case and put you on hold, sometimes even for months. In fact, they expect you to mentally crack and renounce the claims.

Things may totally change when hiring an experienced lemon law attorney. Working with a specialist will help settle the case faster and with more chances for a desired resolution. Of course, the first step when contacting a lemon law attorney is to provide as much info you have. Discuss about the encountered problems and present all documents to support your claims, including repair bills and repair shops’ notes. You will need to provide:
– Purchase contract or lease agreement
– Vehicle’s warranty documentation
– Bills, invoices and receipts, including repair receipts
– Communication info with the car’s dealer

If repairs were made and the problem still persists, you must disclose the number of repair attempts. In many states, a car is considered a lemon only after a certain number of unsuccessful repair attempts. Your lawyer will review all the documents you have before submission.

The next step is to submit your claim to the manufacturer. It usually takes around a month until the manufacture provides a reply. The manufacturer can either approve the claim and offer to refund or repurchase the car or it can deny the claim, invoking various reasons.

If you can a claim denial, you may proceed to arbitration or litigation. The lemon law attorney will represent your case before court. An experienced attorney will help the customer get his money back if the vehicle qualifies under state’s lemon laws. Click here!

Our company provides elite used lemon law rights specialists, with a vast experience and unquestionable reputation. Please visit the provided links for more details.

Lemon Law Attorney in Los Angeles |Zolonz

When you purchase a new car, you would expect nothing less than for it to behave according with its specification. You would expect the engine to purr like a cat and all other systems to be fully operational and operate within specified parameters. Sadly, in many cases the reality contradicts the expectancy. Due to numerous reasons, from manufacturing to shipping problem, the car you have just bought may turn out to be just a burdening lemon. The next logical question is what to do if the new car you bought is a lemon. Should you attempt to solve your case on your own or hire a lawyer?

The first reaction which comes natural for most of the drivers in this situate is to take matters in their own hands and talk with the dealer. Unfortunately, this method is rarely successful. When hearing about lemon cars, lemon laws, refunds or changing…

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The Pharmaceutical Industry

via The Pharmaceutical Industry

TURKEY TORTS (2016)

JONATHAN TURLEY

stock-graphics-vintage-thanksgiving-postcard-00305-1In celebration of Thanksgiving, I give you our annual Turkey Torts of civil and criminal cases that add liability to libations on this special day (with past cases at the bottom). Many criminal defense attorneys and torts attorneys give special thanks for a holiday that can involve copious amounts of alcohol, strained family relations, over-the-hill amateur football players, “Black Friday” sale stampedes, and novice cooks. The result is a horn of plenty for litigators. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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What happens when the feds issue a product recall order

Originally posted by necontact in Consumer Forum, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Education. Tagged: , , .

CONSUMER FORUM

A recent column dealt with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s settlement with Best Buy after the retailer sold goods that had been recalled.

Northeast CONTACT asked attorney Regan A. Sweeney of Portland, a former trial attorney with CPSC, for some insights into the agency’s actions:

NEC: Does CPSC have a standard procedure when negotiating recalls, or is each case unique?

Sweeney: Your question raises a good point, which is that 99.9 percent of CPSC’s recalls are negotiated with the companies and are voluntary; they are not unilaterally decided by CPSC or forced on the companies. The procedure’s generally the same: the CPSC gets incident reports for a product, evaluates the hazard, opens an investigation, and where it finds a substantial hazard, it negotiates with the company for a recall. Because products are unique, recalls are tailored to the product, the hazard and the remedy being addressed.

NEC: In the Best Buy case, the sale of recalled products went on for some time. Why couldn’t CPSC act more quickly to stop those sales?

Sweeney: Because civil penalty cases are negotiated confidentially between the company and the CPSC, we’ll likely never know the details of the case. The settlement agreement tends to indicate that there were a very small number of recalled products that were similar to non-recalled products currently for sale, and a few were sold to consumers due to poor record-keeping and product tracking on Best Buy’s part. The settlement agreement is intentionally short on details, so we’ll never know what the CPSC knew when.

NEC: What about consumer products made overseas?

Sweeney: Federal laws require that a U.S.-based entity be responsible for imported products and for any recall, if necessary. Internet sales create a wrinkle in this, as they’re not considered sales in the U.S. Products purchased online directly from a foreign manufacturer or distributor wouldn’t be covered by CPSC’s laws, so consumers should always buy from a reputable, U.S. based distributor or retailer whenever possible.

NEC: How can consumers be sure they’re not buying recalled items at yard sales or flea markets?

Sweeney: CPSC maintains a database of all recalls announced, sortable by product type, brand, etc., but there’s currently no efficient way of checking that list short of running searches and looking through the listings. When shopping at places like that, use a smartphone to take a picture of the product and do an internet search for the product name and/or model number. Search CPSC’s site, http://www.saferproducts.gov, for the same things.

Even then, here’s a short list of products you should never buy used at a yard sale or flea market:

— Cribs. Federal crib standards and laws changed drastically in 2011, adding a lot of new safety requirements and making it illegal to resell any crib made before then. More importantly, a crib in a yard sale may not have been properly assembled, may have been subject to abuse that caused damage you can’t see, may have been fixed with unsafe homemade repairs, or have other potential problems. Using a replacement mattress in an old crib can create entrapment and asphyxiation hazards.

— Car Seats. It may be impossible to tell by sight if it’s already been in a car crash, thereby significantly reducing its ability to absorb another impact. Many are designed to work only with specific components and parts from that manufacturer; trying to pair it with other parts may render it unsafe.

— Soft Plastic Child Care Articles and Toys. CPSC’s rules over the years have evolved to prohibit certain plastic compounds — phthalates in particular — as they can migrate from the material to a child. These are relatively new rules and testing for these components is complex, not something recognizable by eye or touch, so steer clear of these items as they may not meet the new requirements.

Sweeney says companies that agree to a recall are required to have a website and a toll-free U.S. number for consumers to call to get the recall remedy and usually have to make the remedy available indefinitely. People who can’t get through on a toll-free number, don’t get a response from the website, or can’t readily get the remedy should visit CPSC online at http://www.cpsc.gov or call 800-638-2772.

Consumer Forum is a collaboration of the Bangor Daily News and Northeast CONTACT, Maine’s all-volunteer, nonprofit consumer organization. For assistance with consumer-related issues, including consumer fraud and identity theft, or for information, write Consumer Forum, P.O. Box 486, Brewer, ME 04412, visit https://necontact.wordpress.com or email contacexdir@live.com.

Northeast CONTACT's Blog

CONSUMER FORUM

Posted Oct. 24, 2016, at 9:02 a.m.

A recent column dealt with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s settlement with Best Buy after the retailer sold goods that had been recalled.

Northeast CONTACT asked attorney Regan A. Sweeney of Portland, a former trial attorney with CPSC, for some insights into the agency’s actions:

NEC: Does CPSC have a standard procedure when negotiating recalls, or is each case unique?

Sweeney: Your question raises a good point, which is that 99.9 percent of CPSC’s recalls are negotiated with the companies and are voluntary; they are not unilaterally decided by CPSC or forced on the companies. The procedure’s generally the same: the CPSC gets incident reports for a product, evaluates the hazard, opens an investigation, and where it finds a substantial hazard, it negotiates with the company for a recall. Because products are unique…

View original post 620 more words

Top 20 WordPress Insurance Themes For Insurance Agencies and Lawyers 2016

Moira Grigor – How the Legal Profession Can Make a Difference in the Community

Moira Grigor

Moira Grigor is a talented lawyer who has several years’ experience in legal matters. She holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice from Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham. After graduating from law school, she worked at one of the most prestigious law firms in the city. Moira Grigor is the founder of MG Law Firm and together with her associates regularly help in community-related events. If you are in the legal profession, you might want to use these tips to make a difference in the local community.

Moira Grigor Moira Grigor

Host a Charity Event

There are several ways you can boost your presence as a legal professional in your local community. Most communities regularly organise fundraising events to raise up much-needed funds to support a project, and as a lawyer you can play and integral part in raising funds for the community. Working with a local community…

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